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Thursday, February 23

Baguio Flower Fest Tips and Guide

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Panagbenga flower float

A Rundown of Things
HELLO. ARE YOU already excited going here in Baguio for the annual Panagbenga Festival (or Baguio Flower Festival)? If so, let us list down the things you should be expecting, you shouldn’t miss and you shouldn’t do while watching the grand float parade and shopping during the Session in Bloom.

1. This is a big event. Well, you must already know that. Panagbenga Festival draws in millions of both local and foreign tourists to witness thousands of flowers in bloom. This festival is as big as Sinulog Festival in Cebu. And since you are going to Baguio to check out all those floats adorned with so many flowers, never, never forget to bring camera (or a camcorder). And never ever run out of battery. You will be witnessing both float parade and street parade.

2. Come early (this Saturday, February 25, 2012 or February 24 if you want to witness the dance parade of the schools in Baguio). Book a night stay in Baguio, and be the early bird on Sunday. Or you can always take a bus to Baguio at night and arrive in Baguio by as early as 5 A.M. (earlier than this is better). Secure a slot in Session Road, and be sure there are no obstacles in your widescreen view! Would you love to have a lot of people’s heads in your photos? Of course not! You are there to witness flowers, not hairs! So better be the early bird or you will go home with no nice photos at all (well I already experienced this during the recent Hot Air Balloon Festival).

3. I don’t need to reiterate that you need a thin jacket (oh, not a coat, the weather is getting warmer now). Aside from Baguio being cold (when the sun isn’t scorching so hot), you need a jacket because it is so cold inside the bus! And if unfortunately it rains on Sunday, better prepare aside from the jacket your umbrella.

4. The parade isn’t whole day. So you might as well consider visiting some Baguio attractions too. You can boat at the Burnham Lake (P60-P100/hr on regular day but I am not sure of the increase come Sunday), skate (somewhere near the biking area going to the Athletic Bowl). Try biking, or let your kids play at the playground still in the vicinity of Burnham Park.

5. This one, you really really need to jot down (instill in your mind). Never put anything valuable inside your backpack (if it’s in your back). And never leave anywhere else your bag that contains your DSLR! Do not just leave unattended a thing like an iPad on a table. Remember, this fest attracts MILLIONS of tourists, and because of that, the number of pickpockets and snatchers is likely to triple. Don’t put your phone inside a pouch located in the outer part of your bag. Snatchers steal like a sniper bullet. And never be fooled by somebody else offering something you would likely regret afterwards.
GMA7 media company as one of competitors

6. Well if you get hungry after a few hours watching the parade, there is always the Session Road and SM City Baguio that can fulfill this eager fondness. You can choose a lineup of restaurants from authentic Filipino dishes to fine Asian cuisine. If you are going to ask me about any resto suggestions, I will likely answer 50’s Diner and Kubong Sawali. 50’s Diner is located at an intersection and a few steps to the Laperal White House (remember that horror movie “White House”?). Kubong Sawali on the other hand is inside SM City Baguio, facing University of the Cordilleras. These two serve delicious and mouthwatering dishes—but on an affordable budget.

7. Lastly, bring a sum of money enough for you to enjoy a certain lapse of time (number of days and nights you will actually spend in Baguio). There are a lot of gimmicks in Baguio. You can go to night bars if you want some drunken nights (not recommended!). You can do paint ball with your friends in Camp John Hay. Watch 3D movie in SM. Or visit other places like Mines View Park, Strawberry Farm (in La Trinidad) and Diplomat Hotel Ruins (where the world’s largest ten commandments tablet is located).

So there. If you think I miss some points here, just comment down here and I will be tackling those sometime. And by the way, expect traffic to the extremes. I am living in Baguio right now so if you have some questions, feel free to comment down here and I’ll be glad to answer every question. I am also attending to this event so see ya in a few days!
Oh! Don’t forget to like my Facebook page. I’ll be posting in depth tourist places, how to’s and articles about Baguio soon so better watch out for that if you have plans leaving for a vacation in Baguio! Au revoir!

Route of Panagbenga along Session Road

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